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DRAFT #2 (26 May 2013) Peace Psychology in Pakistan: Some Themes and Questions

Peace psychology seeks to prevent and mitigate both direct and structural forms of violence. Framed positively, peace psychology seeks to promote civility and social justice, what we refer to as peacemaking and peacebuilding, respectively. There also is a cultural or symbolic dimension to violence and peace. Symbols and most notably, language, may be used to support peaceful actions and violence. Peace psychology is a multi-level endeavor that seeks to examine and link cognition, affect, and action at the individual level with actions, narratives, discourses, and norms at the group and intergroup levels. Hence, peace psychology is transdisciplinarly. At the most macro-levels, the national and international levels, psychology continues to play a role as policymaking officials attempt to influence individual and collective actions based on assumptions about human nature. It follows that human psychology is in play at all levels of analysis. The focal concerns of peace psychology vary with geohistorical context. The following themes and questions illustrate some ways in which psychology plays a role in direct, structural, and cultural forms of violence as well as peacemaking and peacebuilding in the geohistorical context of Pakistan. Implicit in the themes and questions raised is the notion that sustainable peace requires the enhancement of civility in human affairs combined with the ongoing pursuit of human well-being for all people. To this end, the questions fall into five thematic categories: (1) the sources of conflict, (2) the problem of violent episodes, (3) peacemaking approaches to manage conflict and mitigate violence, (4) peacebuilding approaches that promote social justice, and (5) the pursuit of sustainable peace which requires the integration of peacemaking and peacebuilding, that is, civility combined with the ongoing pursuit of social justice.

Conflict: The Perception of Incompatible Goals


Some of the following questions are very broad and could provide an umbrella for a program of research and practice. These broad questions would need to be narrowed down to arrive at some testable propositions. Other questions are narrower in scope and would seem ready made to contribute to theory and practice in peace psychology. While the notion that there is a clash of civilizations might overstate the depth of the conflict between Islam and the West, there are some psychological dimensions of the conflict that have not been subject to scientific investigation. Is it possible, for example, to identify or develop measures of Islamophobia that quantify the degree to which individuals exaggerate the threat of Islam in the West? Conversely, is it possible to arrive at a measure of Islamic Supremicism that taps the degree to which individuals believe Islam will dominate the world? What are the antecedents and consequents of Islamophobia and Islamic Supremicism and wider implications for the clash of civilizations? The concept of Extremism also lacks clarity. Are there various forms of extremism? Is extremism usefully conceived as the degree to which violence is endorsed to protect traditional values or advance

political or religious objectives? What forms of extremism favor stoning for adultery, amputation of hands for sexual transgressions, the endorsement of honor killings, and the view of martyrdom as an honor, to mention only a few examples? Dehumanization is an important factor in intergroup conflict and violence. What is the nature of dehumanization in Pakistani society? Does dehumanization involve a two-factor structure (animals and machines, as in Malaysia and elsewhere) or does another structure capture the nature of dehumanization in Pakistan? Does the nature of dehumanization vary with the target? Is it possible to begin identifying instances of dehumanization in inter-group relations? What are the major targets of dehumanization in Pakistan (e.g., inter-sectarian, minorities, castes, etc.) and what kind of narratives are used to characterize each target? What are the major sources of negative and positive attitudes toward Muslims in the West? What role do psychological variables - such as ideologies, emotions, human needs, and a sense of injustice - play in the attraction of youth to the Taliban in Pakistan? A narrower, related question: Is it possible to identify youth who once found the Taliban attractive but no longer identify with the Taliban? Terror Management Theory suggests that groups become more cohesive and opposed to outgroup members when confronted with an existential threat that heightens mortality salience. To what extent is Terror Management Theory applicable to relations between the Muslim world and the West? The sources of prejudicial attitudes are numerous and often include the media, politicians, talk show hosts, officials, and religious leaders. To what extend are there negative attitudes toward minorities such as Shiites, Christians, and Ahmedis in Pakistani society? Is it possible to use narrative analyses to examine some of the sources of prejudicial attitudes and discern the discourses that divide society and encourage hate? The rhetoric at mosques on Fridays can be constructive or destructive of intergroup relations. Is it possible to identify rhetoric that divides and unites? Is it possible to examine gender differences in narratives of inclusion and exclusion and relate the differences to the kind of rhetoric men are exposed to on Fridays? To what extent have Pakistanis developed oppositional identities (e.g., to be Pakistani means to not be Indian). What are the implications of social identity (e.g., I am a Muslim first, male second, Sunni third, etc.) for civil society and social justice?

Violence: Actions Intending to Harm Others


The nature of violence varies with geohistorical context. Pakistan has a history of protracted disputes and cycles of violence among clans and neighbors over property, labor, honor issues, and the like. What are the emotional underpinnings of the kinds of conflicts observed in Pakistan? Do jealousy, revenge, and other emotions distinguish Pakistanis reactions in these protracted disputes?

As in many countries, violence courses throughout Pakistani society and forms a culture of violence. Can we document the nature, scope, and geographic locations of violence throughout Pakistani society such as the incidence of: domestic violence, prisoner abuse, Taliban violence on women and others, the use of corporal punishment in religious seminaries and in public schools, the maiming of wives who commit adultery, the use of violence on daughters who elope, and violence as an instrument to uphold family honor. Which NGOs are taking on the task of documenting the incidence and prevalence of violence? More broadly, how can the psychometric and evaluation skills we have be used to facilitate the work of NGOs in Pakistani society? Is it possible to identify some of the indigenous practices in Pakistan that promote conflict resolution for disputes and reconciliation between groups that have been deeply divided for many years? Is it possible to identify dominant narratives that denigrate or dehumanize women or consign them to a lower status that men? Alternatively, is it possible to identify narratives of empowerment in Pakistani society? The threat of India comes at enormous cost that makes it difficult to support public education and other forms of social spending to improve the quality of peoples lives. How could Track II (unofficial) diplomacy be promoted in India-Pakistan relations? Note: key to the development of Track II is the identification of unofficial but influential members of each society who are willing to come together with members of another society, and in a spirit of cooperation, employ dialogue and empathy to arrive at creative solutions to outstanding differences, disputes or conflicts. The ideas generated can be fed into the official policy making process and create a climate conducive to cooperation among official policymakers. The Citizens Archive of Pakistan documents the voices of people who were living and affected by the partition. The archive includes the reactions of three generations. Using a narrative approach, is it possible to identify the dominant narratives that characterize Indian-Pakistani relations across the generations? To what extent do narratives of victimization and conspiracy play a role? What are other narratives that characterize the relationship? To what extent do fear, hatred, and other emotions accompany these narratives? What evidence is there for the intergenerational transfer of trauma? What role do collective memories of victimization play in accounts of the partition? How did the changing political context over the years impact each generations feelings toward reconciliation? What are some of the indications of reconciliation? What examples of altruism are present in the archive? A related question is whether it is possible to use archival data to identify instances in which oppositional identities develop? What is the incidence, prevalence, and degree of oppositional social identities in Pakistan. What are the origins of these identities and how are they transmitted intergenerationally? What are the conditions that favor an oppositional identity as contrasted with a more inclusive identity? More broadly, what are the antecedents and consequences of oppositional identity formation?

Using a narrative analysis, to what extent does the media promote ethnic divides (e.g., Baluch, Sindhis, Pashtuns,Punjabis) and other divisions such as India versus Pakistan? What are the dominant narratives that promote divisions? What are the psycho-social barriers to the development of trust and cooperation in Afghan-Pakistan relations? How can these barriers be mitigated while promoting a common agenda for security and peacebuilding? What is the incidence and prevalence of PTSD and related disorders among the people who live in the tribal areas that are being attacked by drones? How do the drone attacks affect attitudes toward Americans?

Peacemaking: Promoting Civility and Nonviolence


With nearly 60% of Pakistans population or 70 million people below the age of 24, what efforts are being made in educational institutions to teach peace and conflict resolution? What educational processes encourage interpersonal and intergroup violence? What kind of psycho-metrics could be developed to evaluate the effects of constructive relationship-building and destructive relationshipharming efforts in education? How would one develop a scale of religious tolerance that was suitable for use in the Pakistani context? Because action research is a collaborative approach, it is often the preferred methodology in peace psychology. Could a scale of religious tolerance be developed through an action research methodology followed by some quantitative indices of reliability and validity? To what extent is patriotism conflated with Islamic piety in Pakistan? If the two are conflated, what are some of the implications for peacemaking when patriotism and Islamism are equated? How are conflicts and disputes resolved in rural areas of Pakistan? Are there indigenous methods for resolving disputes between individuals and groups and reconciling the broken relationships that result from discrete grievances and intractable conflicts? The recruitment of youth for the purposes of promoting Islamic militancy is heavily financed and ideologically driven. Yet many youth resist recruitment efforts. What are the characteristics of youth and the conditions in which they live that buffer them from recruitment efforts? What do we know about psychological conditions that can prevent and mitigate religious extremism? What psycho-social conditions can encourage violent extremists to adopt more peaceful means of dealing with intergroup differences? Contact Theory is applied when rival groups are brought together and cooperatively pursue common goals in an egalitarian way with positive sanctions from authorities. Are there applications of contact theory in Pakistan? To what extent do these cases of intergroup contact meet the conditions that favor improved relationships (based on what we know about these conditions from the contact literature)? Alternatively, is it possible to identify ways in which individual and social forces discourage intergroup contact, either in rhetoric, policy, or other sources of influence?

In every society, there are individuals and groups that go against the predominant norms by working across the usual fault lines that separate groups. These zones of civility remain peaceful even when surrounded by exogenous shocks of violence. Is it possible to identify zones of civility in Pakistani society, and if so, what can we learn from these pockets of peace that could be generalized more widely? (e.g., Muslim-Christian cooperation during attacks on Christians in Gojra) To what extent have Sufis developed an inclusive social identity and how does their identity compare with other groups in Pakistani society? Is it possible to differentiate the psychological factors involved in the radicalization of the Pashtun people in Pakistan as contrasted with the radicalization of non-Pashtun people? In each instance, what psycho-social variables are in play when individuals resist efforts to be radicalized? Are there deliberate efforts in Pakistani society to conduct dialogues between rival groups? If so, what are the measurable outcomes of such initiatives? What psychological measures might be well-suited for dialogue-type intervention? While the inability of parents to provide for their childrens basic needs may lead some parents to turn to a madrassa for instruction and care, others resist sending their children to institutions that may import an oppositional ideology that creates conflict. What psycho-social factors account for the differences between these parents? Is it possible to identify instances in which conflicts were resolved and effectively prevented intergroup violence? If yes, can we discern themes and arrive at best practices that are suitable for various sectors of Pakistani society? What are promising approaches and best practices aimed at the prevention and mitigation of a culture of violence throughout Pakistani society? What are the psychosocial conditions that motivate students to join Jamait-e-Tulaba? What conditions attract and repel students as potential members of this or other organizations with similar purposes? A thoroughgoing content analysis of the books used in public education could identify textual material that promoted peace and violence. Would it be possible to identify text that encouraged enemy imagemaking and intolerance as well as more constructive views of the Other? What are the contributions and perspectives of Islam on peacemaking? What are the dominant public perceptions and emotions that accompany US-Pakistani relations and how could these psychological features be changed in a direction that would be more constructive and mutually beneficial?

Peacebuilding: Promoting Social Justice

The Black Movement of lawyers in Pakistan has been hailed as a successful peace movement. What were the psycho-socio-cultural dynamics that took place within and across levels (individual to societal) that made this movement successful in Pakistan? Instead of ruling on the basis of fairness, matters of justice are often determined by ones clan, class, family connections and political allegiances. What are the psychological consequences of this arrangement? What steps could be taken at the individual and collective levels to begin the process of building trust in the judicial system and changing norms so that judgments are based on the rule of law? Is it possible to identify pockets of peace in which civil society initiatives bring social justice to those who are victims of debt peonage or other tribal traditions? Girls in tribal areas are often forced into a life of servitude. The intergenerational transfer of patriarchal norms shows few signs of abating. What are the psychosocial consequences of this tradition on girls? Are there tribal areas in which the norms are loosening up and if so, what are the antecedents of these changes at the individual and tribal levels? Where are the women peacebuilders, what do they do, and what psychological factors play a role in their activism? Are there psychologically-informed policies that could begin to address the problem of structural violence, including rural poverty, particularly in Sindh, Balochistan and NW tribal areas? Do attitudes toward minorities and others who have suffered through social injustices differ when comparing youth to older cohorts? In recent years, Pakistan has witnessed a number of peace movements that have created a more socially just society: applying pressure to have an independent judiciary, having a chief justice reinstated, overturning the National Reconciliation Order, to name a few. Social justice movements typically engender changes on political and personal levels and are imbued with a sense of collective and selfefficacy. Based on social justice movements that have been well documented in the Pakistani context, to what extent can we content analyze and make some reliable inferences about the personal correlates of these political movements that increase social justice? Given low levels of literacy in rural villages and other forms of structural violence, are there psychologically-informed incentives that could be put in place to encourage community elders and families to send their daughters to school rather than keeping girls sequestered in their homes? Liberation psychology is based on the notion that those who are oppressed have the power to transform themselves through a process of conscientization in which they come to realize that their oppression is not due to any deficiency within them but instead due to powerful forces that benefit from their oppressed status. To what extent is liberation psychology applicable in the context of Pakistan and have there been any cases in which emancipatory agendas have been pursued and documented in Pakistan? What are the contributions and perspectives of Islam on peacebuilding?

Sustainable Peace: Promoting Civility and Social Justice


What has been the role of social media in bringing about civility and social justice? Are there generational differences in the use of social media and if so, are there implications for the future of peacemaking and peacebuilding? In the wake of disasters, humans very often put aside their differences and work for the common good. Is it possible to identify this kind of dynamic in the wake of the floods of 2010? Similarly, is it possible to identify actions that promote civility and the common good in the aftermath of terrorist attacks? Is it possible to identify women who are leading civil society initiatives to promote peace and social justice? What are the psych-social and cultural antecedents and consequences of these efforts? How can these outcomes be more widely distributed throughout Pakistani society?

Dan Christie (26 May 2013)